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net viel

net viel [nɛt fiːl] (Swabian for "not much") allows searching through an e-mail archive indexed with notmuch from a browser.

The original idea (of which it falls way short) was to search e-mails in a local Maildir with the convenience of a GMail-like interface.

Technically, it is a single-page web app (based on the Open WC Starter App) with a Python REST API as backend served with Flask.


python3 -m pip install netviel --user


(Nonsensical e-mails generated with the help of Faker.)


See here for a demo instance with random e-mails (but no attachments or HTML e-mails, which net viel supports as well).

Note that the initial startup of the demo could take up to half a minute until the Heroku dyno (free tier) wakes up, after that it should be snappy.


You need to have notmuch installed with its Python bindings. On Debian-based systems, this is achieved with

sudo apt install notmuch python3-notmuch

Python 3.6 or above is required.


The web interface accessing your local notmuch database is opened simply with

python3 -m netviel

The Flask default port 5000 can be changed with the --ports option.

⚠️ net viel is meant for local use only. Do not expose this to the Internet as-is. Bad things will happen! ⚠️


To run net viel locally and make changes to the code, follow intructions on this page.